I picked up my race kit from the Running Room on Saturday. A couple of good samples in the kit – a mini luna bar, chap stick, Immunity FX (I keep getting this in race kits and I can’t use it – my immune system wants to attack my joints so it’s not getting any support!).
Fabulous blue long sleeved shirt. I requested a medium but the shirts ran a bit small. Luckily I was able to exchange it after the race.
Sunday morning, I was up early and left my place around 6:45. Had no issues with Sunday morning buses and got to the park by 7:30 (half marathon started at 8, the 5K at 8:20).
The half marathoners went out first in 3 waves. Than all of the 5K’ers were clumped together. There were around 1500 doing the half and 700ish doing the 5K. So not a huge race, but I wish that there were at least signs saying “under 30 minutes”, “35+ minutes”, “walkers”, etc to split everyone up properly. I tried to position myself further back, but there were lots of faster runners dodging people to get ahead and lots of walkers ahead of me that I had to get around.
The race runs through Sunnybrook park which is pretty and green with winding paths. Only problem with this is that you have a ton of people all on a smallish path plus whoever else is in the park that day. There were narrow sections where it was really hard to pass people. This didn’t bother me last year but after running down Yonge Street in the Sporting Life 10K, I appreciate having some space.
The course is and out and back. It was great seeing the leaders coming back. Everyone on the other side of the path cheered for them.
Just before the water station, volunteers were handing out Cadbury Thins chocolate. As much as I like chocolate, it was so not appealing while running. Some people just took them to carry, but I didn’t particularly want to carry a chocolate bar for the rest of the race.
I was slowing down on the way back, feeling kind of tired. As I was approaching the finish line, I looked at my Garmin. I was at 39 minutes – I just wanted to break 40. So I sprinted to the end. Looking at my Garmin splits, the last 500 metres I was running between a 4.5 to a 5 min/km pace. I hit the mat, looked at my watch, saw it was under 40 minutes and leapt into the air. I may have yelled something.
Got my medal and a brown bag full of snacks (more chocolate, a banana, bottle of water, a breakfast pita and a bag of chips) than headed home.
Overall, I really like the Toronto Women’s Races. They’re well organized, not too big and the post race area is always well laid out. The volunteers were great, the energy was fantastic. I’m planning on doing the 10K and either the 5K or 8K in October.
Thinks I liked:
- Shirt (and easy size exchanges)
- Beautiful park setting
- Post race food
- No start corrals for the 5K
- Narrow paths